Cameron Helps NeighbourLink Summerland Help People in Need

November 23, 2016

Cameron, 16 years old with little work experience, was struggling to find a summer job.

20160826_134841“Cameron spent hours delivering resumes all over Penticton this spring and did not receive a call back from any of them,” says Cameron’s mother, Amy. “I was concerned about what he was going to be able to do for work, as he needs to start gaining the job skills necessary to be successful in the community.”

Cameron has Autism (new window) and ADHD (new window), which gives him some difficulty in social situations.

“I was diagnosed [. . .] when I was three, and [it] has made it difficult to find work which I can [do] to my best,” he explains. “I struggle on a normal basis to focus and stay on task, but added things such as noise, pressure and other things is what turned me off on typical jobs such as fast food or retail.

That’s when Cameron and Amy discovered the Neil Squire Society. In the Working Together program, Cameron learned how to properly prepare for an interview, and he was hired by NeighbourLink Summerland (new window), a local non-profit network of churches who work together to help those in need, to work on data entry.

“NeighbourLink has provided me with the chance to work in a quiet environment with minimal distractions and caring support around me,” he says.

The non-profit was having a hard time keeping organized, with the sheer number of clients. With only one paid part-time staff member, they would have been unable to hire an employee and start the “needed” task without the Working Together wage subsidy, according to NeighbourLink Summerland Community Coordinator, Mirjana Komljenovic, who supervised Cameron.

Mirjana would “absolutely” recommend the Working Together program to other employers.

“[Cameron] performed his duties well and is very pleasant to work with. I felt that he became more confident with each shift in his expected duties and himself,” she explains. “This program breaks down so many barriers for both the employer and employee. By breaking down barriers we build strong, healthy communities.”

With valuable work experience, Cameron looks forward to completing high school and attending post-secondary after graduation.

“It created a lot of good memories during that time spent in the office and it creates a reference that I can use when I go for another job in the future,” he says.

And perhaps he has found a new passion.

“I’m very pleased that I had the fortune to work with a great place that is able to help people that are unable to help themselves,” Cameron concludes.